Stories to lift your spirits

Posted by John, Volunteer Mentor @johnbishop, Apr 17, 2019

Ex Sailors love to tell stories. Some are stories and some are sea stories which evolve as they are told over the years ☺ I was inspired to start this discussion by @usmccam who created the artwork for me (THANK YOU!) after reading a post I made with an attached story. I have been fortunate to be a member of the Pine Island Toastmasters Club in Pine Island, Minnesota which helped me evolve and taught me how to be a better speaker…well, better than what I was anyway.

I would like to start the ball rolling by sharing one of my earlier stories/speeches a from a few years ago.

The Road to Recovery

My name is John…I am a CAR-A-HOLIC.

My road to recovery has been a long struggle. It all started with my first new car. I was young and impressionable. I had a great job with IBM and I had money-to-burn…meaning “no kids”! Then it happened. I saw my first love. A 1967 Pontiac GTO. It was beautiful…pearl white with coral blue interior.

I LOVED THAT CAR!

Then reality set it. First, I found out that GTO stood for Gas, Tires, and Oil. Next, it fell victim to a neighborhood hit and run accident. After getting an estimate to have it fixed, I pulled up to an on ramp for the Harbor Freeway and seconds later heard the squealing sound of tires behind me…just in time to grab the steering wheel and hang on. A flower delivery van had pushed the trunk all the way to rear wheels. Try explaining the second accident to the insurance agent when the first one wasn’t even fixed yet. What a day that was. It was never the same after the accident. After the GTO I went through several new cars but they were just cars if you know what I mean.

Then it happened again! I fell in love again! With visions of being able to leap large boulders and cross deep creeks in the outback, I bought a 1970 Toyota Landcruiser. It was red beauty. It even came with it’s own metric tool kit for a real emergency. I was ready for the great outdoors! I even added an AM/FM radio as an option.

I LOVED THAT CAR!

It was a short relationship. She had only 6000 miles on her when I dumped her. No way I’m keeping a car when I can’t hear the radio driving at 55 MPH. I went through several more loves until it happened again.

I found another love. A 1972 Chevy Blazer. It had everything…lockout hubs, 4 on the floor, skid plates, 2 batteries. Bring on the outdoors. I was ready!

I LOVED THAT TRUCK!

It didn’t take me long to plan a back packing trip in the Sierras with my best friend. Our trip went as planned. We found some old logging roads into a remote area. We crossed a couple of creeks and finally reached the end of the trail only to find a Volkswagen Bus parked in the opening. Can you imagine how I felt! So much for needing 4 wheel drive.

A few years and a few more new cars later, I felt my youth slipping away. I was almost 40 and never had a sports car. I told my financial manager…I want a sports car! Boy was she a tough sell but being the salesman I am and convincing her that I spend a gazillion hours a week in my car for work, she broke down and gave her approval. And there I was…on the prowl for the coolest sports car in Aberdeen, South Dakota. It didn’t take me long to find a brand spanking new 1975 ½ Datsun 260Z. Metallic brown with black interior, 5 speed on the floor…I’m set!

I LOVED THAT CAR!

70, 80, 90, 110…this baby really moved. I spent hours and hours polishing and cleaning her. No way I was going to have a dirty car. One Saturday afternoon I decided to take her out for a spin when I notice something on the trunk lid. Large letters the size of a basketball were scratched on the trunk. The closer I got, the madder I got. W – A – D – E. Boy was I hot. I turned around and went back into the house looking for my 5 year old son…by the way his name is Wade. I confronted him and asked him how his name got on Dad’s sports car. His reply was quick – “Suzy made me do it.” Suzy was the 5 year old blonde bombshell that lived across the street and was the neighborhood ringleader. After a brief “calm” discussion with him I decided he should be the one to “fix” it. I got out the rubbing compound, gave him a rag and told him to rub until he doesn’t see his name. I went back to check on him about and hour or so later. Poor kid really looked beat and tired. I decided to let him off the hook with a promise not to ever listen to Suzy again.

The 260Z was my last real love. I’ve had other new cars since then but it’s not the same anymore. Age and no expense checks have mellowed me.

I AM ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY!!

Then along came the 80s and the personal computer.

HONEY, I NEED A COMPUTER!

Somewhere in the back of my mind, the wheels were already spinning. Newer, bigger, better, faster became entrenched in my most inner being. Computers, computers, computers …I couldn’t get them out of my mind.

I LOVE COMPUTERS!

There you have it. The Reader’s Digest condensed story of my life.

My ROAD TO RECOVERY is now the onramp to the INFORMATION SUPER HIGHWAY!
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Do you have an uplifting or entertaining story you would like to tell? We would love to hear it!

@usmccam-Ed

@usmccam, @jenniferhunter, @windwalker, @thankful, @hopeful33250, @danielad, @alamogal635 do you have any stories you would like to share in the discussion?

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@johnbishop That was a very interesting story about your love of cars . I did have a Austin Healy cool car

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@johnbishop

John,
Thank you for sharing your story with us!
I guess we all have those things that we fall in love with regardless of what others think.
Cars…..expensive love affair!
However, they say that nothing compares to the joy and sweetness of a first love…….

Enjoy your memories of your first love,
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@johnbishop Love your story, John. I had two cars that I loved. My first ever car was a beautiful new, Castillian Bronze 1970 Firebird. I loved that car but then the gas crunch struck. I was working for a consulting company and had to drive a long distance daily to get to work. The gas stations were only allowing customers to get $2.00 worth of gas a day! So I was spending a lot of time in gas stations and traded the car in for a Mercury Capri that I never really liked.
My second car love was actually the car I had before my current one. It was an Acura two-door coupe. I loved that car. The seats were the most comfortable car seats I ever sat in. I kept it for a number of years until it started having things go wrong with it. Coincidentally my husband got rid of his SUV and we really needed one for our trips to Maine, so I made the sacrifice and got one. I have always hated it, but we needed it. I am more than ready for a new car again.

In between the Capri and the Acura I had four Volvos, three of which got totaled! I felt jinxed which was why I didn't get another Volvo.

I pretty much do love computers too but so does my husband, also an ex-computer person, so he keeps us up to date on them.
JK

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Ok, @johnbishop. My story is sort of a car story. Here goes:

Picture this: I am 16 years old. The high school where I took driver's training had a fenced-in driving course with traffic lights, stop and yield signs all over the place. There were places to turn (practice using your turn signals – you would get marked down for not using them) and all sorts of little tricks. Well, on about the 3rd day of driver's training on the course, I got into a lane where there were these orange cones blocking my driving lane. I think: Oh no! What should I do?

Well, I did what any normal person would do. I got out of my car and started moving the cones out of my way. The driver's training instructor had evidently never seen such an ambitious student such as myself and yelled, "What are you doing!!!" Well, I said, "They are in my way. I'm moving them out of the way." (I thought he and all of the other students would be pleased with my taking charge of things and getting rid of the roadblocks.) He went on to inform me that the purpose of the cones was to learn to drive around obstacles. (So why didn't he tell me that beforehand, I wondered?) So, I put the cones back in place (the instructor is still shaking his head in disbelief).

In retrospect, I'm glad that I learned to drive around the cones. In Michigan, we will have a lot of them this Spring, Summer, and Fall as the road crews try to fix the roads after the winter salt.

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@hopeful33250

Ok, @johnbishop. My story is sort of a car story. Here goes:

Picture this: I am 16 years old. The high school where I took driver's training had a fenced-in driving course with traffic lights, stop and yield signs all over the place. There were places to turn (practice using your turn signals – you would get marked down for not using them) and all sorts of little tricks. Well, on about the 3rd day of driver's training on the course, I got into a lane where there were these orange cones blocking my driving lane. I think: Oh no! What should I do?

Well, I did what any normal person would do. I got out of my car and started moving the cones out of my way. The driver's training instructor had evidently never seen such an ambitious student such as myself and yelled, "What are you doing!!!" Well, I said, "They are in my way. I'm moving them out of the way." (I thought he and all of the other students would be pleased with my taking charge of things and getting rid of the roadblocks.) He went on to inform me that the purpose of the cones was to learn to drive around obstacles. (So why didn't he tell me that beforehand, I wondered?) So, I put the cones back in place (the instructor is still shaking his head in disbelief).

In retrospect, I'm glad that I learned to drive around the cones. In Michigan, we will have a lot of them this Spring, Summer, and Fall as the road crews try to fix the roads after the winter salt.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250 Love it. Great story. What a way to lear to go around obstacles!

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@hopeful33250

Ok, @johnbishop. My story is sort of a car story. Here goes:

Picture this: I am 16 years old. The high school where I took driver's training had a fenced-in driving course with traffic lights, stop and yield signs all over the place. There were places to turn (practice using your turn signals – you would get marked down for not using them) and all sorts of little tricks. Well, on about the 3rd day of driver's training on the course, I got into a lane where there were these orange cones blocking my driving lane. I think: Oh no! What should I do?

Well, I did what any normal person would do. I got out of my car and started moving the cones out of my way. The driver's training instructor had evidently never seen such an ambitious student such as myself and yelled, "What are you doing!!!" Well, I said, "They are in my way. I'm moving them out of the way." (I thought he and all of the other students would be pleased with my taking charge of things and getting rid of the roadblocks.) He went on to inform me that the purpose of the cones was to learn to drive around obstacles. (So why didn't he tell me that beforehand, I wondered?) So, I put the cones back in place (the instructor is still shaking his head in disbelief).

In retrospect, I'm glad that I learned to drive around the cones. In Michigan, we will have a lot of them this Spring, Summer, and Fall as the road crews try to fix the roads after the winter salt.

Jump to this post

Teresa @hopeful33250 great story! Brought a smile to my face 🙂

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@contentandwell

@johnbishop Love your story, John. I had two cars that I loved. My first ever car was a beautiful new, Castillian Bronze 1970 Firebird. I loved that car but then the gas crunch struck. I was working for a consulting company and had to drive a long distance daily to get to work. The gas stations were only allowing customers to get $2.00 worth of gas a day! So I was spending a lot of time in gas stations and traded the car in for a Mercury Capri that I never really liked.
My second car love was actually the car I had before my current one. It was an Acura two-door coupe. I loved that car. The seats were the most comfortable car seats I ever sat in. I kept it for a number of years until it started having things go wrong with it. Coincidentally my husband got rid of his SUV and we really needed one for our trips to Maine, so I made the sacrifice and got one. I have always hated it, but we needed it. I am more than ready for a new car again.

In between the Capri and the Acura I had four Volvos, three of which got totaled! I felt jinxed which was why I didn't get another Volvo.

I pretty much do love computers too but so does my husband, also an ex-computer person, so he keeps us up to date on them.
JK

Jump to this post

JK @contentandwell sounds like you were bit by the same bug! 🙂

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Besides the Austin Healy my first real car was a Ford Thunderbird 1964 Love that car but it ate gas so afterawhile I got rid of it and bought a Plymouth had 2 one I drove out to California from Pa. After a year I drove it back to Pa. Then a Dr. sold me his Mercury what a lemon that was. When I got married we had a VW bug in fact 3 of them after our son was born we went on vacation and he had a small whole to sit as you know with a bug there wasn't a lot of packing room but I had a lot of toys for him and coloring books he loved . After the VW,s we had 7 Subaru,s . that was the last one I had in Calif. So I guess you could say we loved cars.

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@johnbishop

JK @contentandwell sounds like you were bit by the same bug! 🙂

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@johnbishop I really miss that Acura. I felt like the "little old lady from Pasadena". 😉

By the way, I didn't get my license until I was working and in my 20s because I couldn't afford a car or insurance before that, so the Firebird was my first big expenditure.

Teresa's ( @hopeful33250 ) story reminded me of my first driving lesson. I was supposed to pull up alongside the building at the end of the lesson. I didn't want to look like a frightened novice, parking many feet away from the building so I ended up hitting the building! They immediately signed me up for 12 lessons, more than usual. After my last lesson, the two driving instructors took me out to dinner!
In NH when the teens take driver's ed the parent is supposed to give them at least 50 hours of driving practice. My life flashed before my eyes many times.
JK

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@lioness

Besides the Austin Healy my first real car was a Ford Thunderbird 1964 Love that car but it ate gas so afterawhile I got rid of it and bought a Plymouth had 2 one I drove out to California from Pa. After a year I drove it back to Pa. Then a Dr. sold me his Mercury what a lemon that was. When I got married we had a VW bug in fact 3 of them after our son was born we went on vacation and he had a small whole to sit as you know with a bug there wasn't a lot of packing room but I had a lot of toys for him and coloring books he loved . After the VW,s we had 7 Subaru,s . that was the last one I had in Calif. So I guess you could say we loved cars.

Jump to this post

@lioness I positively LOVED Thunderbirds, the two-seaters. That car is probably my all time favorite. I don't remember when Thunderbirds came out, but it was the early ones that I loved.
JK

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@contentandwell Mine was a powder blue it was nice loved it but ate to much gas . Had the fins on it looked so cool. heads turned remember when there was street shows of your car . Rode my T-bird in it . it was a good driving car .

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@lioness

Besides the Austin Healy my first real car was a Ford Thunderbird 1964 Love that car but it ate gas so afterawhile I got rid of it and bought a Plymouth had 2 one I drove out to California from Pa. After a year I drove it back to Pa. Then a Dr. sold me his Mercury what a lemon that was. When I got married we had a VW bug in fact 3 of them after our son was born we went on vacation and he had a small whole to sit as you know with a bug there wasn't a lot of packing room but I had a lot of toys for him and coloring books he loved . After the VW,s we had 7 Subaru,s . that was the last one I had in Calif. So I guess you could say we loved cars.

Jump to this post

Thunderbirds were really cool back in the day! @lioness. Missed an opportunity to buy a 57 T-Bird when I got out of the Navy.

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@hopeful33250

Ok, @johnbishop. My story is sort of a car story. Here goes:

Picture this: I am 16 years old. The high school where I took driver's training had a fenced-in driving course with traffic lights, stop and yield signs all over the place. There were places to turn (practice using your turn signals – you would get marked down for not using them) and all sorts of little tricks. Well, on about the 3rd day of driver's training on the course, I got into a lane where there were these orange cones blocking my driving lane. I think: Oh no! What should I do?

Well, I did what any normal person would do. I got out of my car and started moving the cones out of my way. The driver's training instructor had evidently never seen such an ambitious student such as myself and yelled, "What are you doing!!!" Well, I said, "They are in my way. I'm moving them out of the way." (I thought he and all of the other students would be pleased with my taking charge of things and getting rid of the roadblocks.) He went on to inform me that the purpose of the cones was to learn to drive around obstacles. (So why didn't he tell me that beforehand, I wondered?) So, I put the cones back in place (the instructor is still shaking his head in disbelief).

In retrospect, I'm glad that I learned to drive around the cones. In Michigan, we will have a lot of them this Spring, Summer, and Fall as the road crews try to fix the roads after the winter salt.

Jump to this post

Great story, Teresa!
I was NYC born and raised.
I learned to drive on the streets of Queens, NYC!
My dad gave me my first 'driving lesson' before I took driver's ed.
Where did he take me?
He took me on the Long Island Expressway.
For non-New Yorkers, it is a VERY busy highway people use to get into Manhattan or to Long Island.
Oy, no wonder he NEVER took me out, again!!
You know the song lyrics, "…if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!'?
That is how I felt about learning to drive in NY!!!
Ronnie

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